Everything You Wanted to Know About Visiting Kununurra, WA

Kununurra is a pristine paradise tucked away in the rugged heart of Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

This remote town is home to awe-inspiring natural beauty and rich Indigenous heritage, attracting travellers worldwide to explore its treasures. From the sprawling shores of Lake Argyle to the iconic Bungle Bungle Range, Kununurra offers a tapestry of experiences waiting for you to unravel.

In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the ‘Gem of the Kimberley’ and unveil ten must-do activities and attractions that showcase the very essence of this remarkable destination.

Kununurra promises an unforgettable adventure if you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or in search of tranquillity far from the bustling city. So keep reading until the end to discover why Kununurra deserves a top spot on your travel bucket list.

Where is Kununurra?

Where is Kununurra

Kununurra is a captivating town located in the eastern reaches of Western Australia, proudly situated within the stunning Kimberley region.

This remote oasis is nestled near the border of the Northern Territory and serves as a gateway to some of Australia’s most rugged and awe-inspiring landscapes. Surrounded by the vast expanses of wilderness, Kununurra is a testament to nature’s grandeur, offering tourists a unique, immersive and quintessentially Australian experience.

How to get to Kununurra?

How to get to Kununurra

Getting to Kununurra involves a journey to one of Australia’s most remote and beautiful parts. Here’s how to reach this gem of the Kimberley region:

By Air:

By Air

Domestic Flights: The most common way to reach Kununurra is by taking a domestic flight from major Australian cities like Perth, Darwin, or Broome. Kununurra has its own airport, the Kununurra Airport, which is well-connected to these cities. Several airlines operate regular flights to Kununurra.

By Road:

From Darwin: If you prefer a road trip adventure, you can drive to Kununurra from Darwin. The distance is approximately 850 kilometres, and the journey takes 10-12 hours, depending on stops along the way. The route follows the Victoria Highway.

From Broome: Another scenic road trip option is driving from Broome to Kununurra. The distance is around 1,100 kilometres, and the drive typically takes about 12-14 hours via the Great Northern Highway.

By Bus:

Coach Services: There are long-distance coach services that connect Kununurra to nearby towns and cities, such as Broome, Darwin, and Katherine. These services can be a more budget-friendly option but may take longer than flying.

By Tour:

Guided Tours: Joining a guided tour is an excellent way to explore the Kimberley region, including Kununurra. Many tour operators offer packages that include transportation, accommodations, and activities, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the journey while experienced guides take care of the details.

Important Tips:

Important Tips

Kununurra is a remote area, so plan your transportation and accommodations well in advance, especially during the peak tourist season (dry season from May to October).

Ensure your vehicle suits the road conditions if you plan to drive, as some roads may be unsealed and require a 4WD.

Check for any travel restrictions or road conditions, as they can change, especially during the wet season (November to April).

Kununurra Airport provides car rental services if you want to explore the region independently.

Whether you choose to fly, drive, or take a guided tour, getting to Kununurra is the first step in experiencing the breathtaking beauty and unique adventures that await in this remote corner of Western Australia.

Best time to Visit Kununurra

Best time to Visit Kununurra

Choosing the best time to visit Kununurra depends on your preferences and the experiences you seek. The dry season, stretching from May to October is the most popular time to visit. During these months, you’ll enjoy warm, sunny days, ideal for outdoor adventures, hiking, and exploring the Kimberley’s natural wonders. Wildlife is abundant, and iconic attractions like Lake Argyle, Bungle Bungle Range, and Bell Gorge are easily accessible.

On the other hand, the wet season, from November to April, brings occasional heavy rainfall and high humidity, transforming the landscape into a lush green oasis. While some roads may be impassable due to flooding, this season is perfect for birdwatching, witnessing waterfalls at their peak, and experiencing the Kimberley’s dramatic transformation. Remember that some attractions may be closed during this period, and travel conditions can be more challenging.

At the end of the day, whether you prefer the dry season’s outdoor activities or the wet season’s vibrant landscapes, Kununurra welcomes tourists year-round, each season offering its unique charm in this enchanting corner of Western Australia.

Things to do in Kununurra

Kununurra offers unforgettable experiences in the heart of Western Australia’s Kimberley region. From exploring ancient gorges to cruising on tranquil rivers, this remote oasis attracts travellers with a tapestry of natural wonders and cultural richness. Here are the top things to do in Kununurra.

Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle is a breathtaking man-made wonder created from the waters of the mighty Ord River. Its vast expanse of clear water, diverse wildlife, and stunning scenery testify to nature’s incredible engineering skills.

The Ord River Dam formed Australia’s second-largest artificial lake, covering over 1,000 square kilometres, making it larger than Sydney Harbour. This massive reservoir transformed a once-arid landscape into an oasis that attracts visitors from all over the world.

One of the best ways to experience the grandeur of Lake Argyle is by taking a scenic boat cruise. These cruises provide relief from the heat and offer a chance to see the unique wildlife of the Kimberley region. You can see freshwater crocodiles on the banks, while wallabies and various birdlife can also be spotted in the surrounding bushland. The famous ‘Ord River Cruise’ takes you on a journey through the meandering waterways, revealing the area’s rich natural tapestry.

For those seeking adventure, Lake Argyle is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is home to barramundi, catfish, and other species, providing anglers with an exciting challenge in a peaceful setting.

To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Lake Argyle, consider camping by its shores. The Lake Argyle Resort offers excellent camping facilities, allowing you to witness the magnificent sunsets and the starry night sky of the Kimberley region, creating an unforgettable experience.

2. Visit Mirima National Park (Hidden Valley)

Visit Mirima National Park (Hidden Valley)

Just a stone’s throw away from Kununurra lies the remarkable Mirima National Park, affectionately known as ‘Hidden Valley’ due to its uncanny resemblance to the famous Bungle Bungle Range further north. This park, though smaller in scale, holds its own unique charm and offers a tantalizing glimpse into the Kimberley’s ancient geological wonders.

Mirima National Park has surreal sandstone formations, rugged gorges, and abundant flora and fauna. The orange-and-black-striped cliffs, sculpted by millions of years of erosion, create an otherworldly landscape that beckons visitors to explore its mysteries.

The park boasts several well-marked walking trails catering to varying fitness and interest levels. The Gurrandalng Walk, an easy stroll suitable for all ages, introduces the park’s enchanting scenery. For the more adventurous, the Sandstone Ridge Walk offers a more challenging hike with breathtaking

panoramic views that make the effort worthwhile.

Birdwatching enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise at Mirima National Park, as the area is home to a rich diversity of birdlife. Keep your binoculars ready and your camera poised, as you may spot everything from colourful parrots to majestic wedge-tailed eagles soaring overhead.

The park is also ideal for picnicking, allowing visitors to soak in the serenity while enjoying a meal amidst the ancient sandstone formations. Shaded picnic areas make it an excellent place for families and groups to unwind and connect with nature.

3. Explore El Questro Wilderness Park

Explore El Questro Wilderness Park

El Questro Wilderness Park is an immense and untamed wonderland in the heart of the Kimberley region.

It’s a place where the rugged beauty of Western Australia meets the thrill of adventure and where ancient landscapes beg to be explored. Whether you’re dipping into the soothing waters of Zebedee Springs, embarking on a challenging hike to Emma Gorge’s cascading waterfall, or cruising through the breathtaking Chamberlain Gorge, El Questro offers a myriad of experiences that immerse you in the Kimberley’s wild and awe-inspiring beauty.

The Homestead at El Questro ensures a comfortable stay for those seeking luxury amidst the wilderness, making it the perfect base for unforgettable Kimberley adventures.

4. Admire the Breathtaking Bungle Bungle Range

Admire the Breathtaking Bungle Bungle Range

Located within Purnululu National Park in the heart of the Kimberley, the Bungle Bungle Range is one of Western Australia’s most remarkable natural wonders.

These distinctive orange-and-black striped sandstone domes, sculpted by millions of years of weathering and erosion, offer a mesmerising landscape that defies description. To truly appreciate their unique beauty, embark on a scenic flight that allows you to witness the grandeur of the Bungle Bungle Range from above, showcasing the intricacies of its geological masterpiece.

For those with an adventurous spirit, self-guided hikes lead you through narrow gorges, unveiling the hidden secrets of this ancient terrain. The park’s captivating scenery, rich history, and unique flora and fauna make the Bungle Bungle Range a must-see destination for anyone exploring the Kimberley, leaving an indelible imprint of nature’s artistic prowess.

5. Take a Dip in Bell Gorge

Cruise the Ord River

Bell Gorge is a pristine natural pool framed by towering red cliffs and lush vegetation. This oasis in the heart of Western Australia offers a refreshing escape from the Kimberley’s scorching heat.

To reach its crystal-clear waters, you embark on a moderate hike through the breathtaking landscape, an adventure as rewarding as the destination. Once you arrive, the inviting pool beneath the cascading waterfall is an irresistible invitation to take a dip.

Bell Gorge is more than just a place to cool off; it’s a haven for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Its vibrant colours, cascading waters, and serene ambience make it an idyllic spot to connect

with Kimberley’s wild beauty and capture its essence in photographs.

6. Immerse Yourself in Indigenous Culture

Kununurra and its surrounding Kimberley region are steeped in rich Indigenous history and culture that spans thousands of years. To truly appreciate the depth of this heritage, immerse yourself in the local Indigenous culture.

Begin by visiting the Waringarri Aboriginal Arts center, where you can view and purchase authentic Indigenous artwork, including paintings, ceramics, and textiles, created by local artists. For a more immersive experience, embark on Ngurrangga Tours, where knowledgeable Indigenous hosts share their deep connection with the land, history, and Dreamtime stories, providing invaluable insights into the Kimberley’s past and present.

Additionally, explore nearby rock art sites, where ancient Aboriginal paintings, some dating back millennia, reveal the profound connection between the Indigenous people and their environment. These experiences offer a unique opportunity to appreciate and honour the rich cultural tapestry of the Kimberley and its Indigenous inhabitants, fostering a deeper understanding of Australia’s Indigenous heritage.

7. Cruise the Ord River

Take a Dip in Bell Gorge

Cruising the meandering waters of the Ord River is a must-do experience in Kununurra. This river, often described as the lifeblood of the region, winds its way through the heart of the Kimberley, revealing its natural splendour in all its glory.

As you drift along its tranquil waters, you’ll have the chance to spot freshwater crocodiles basking on the banks and observe a diverse range of bird species that call the riverbanks home. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular, with lush vegetation, rugged landscapes, and serene beauty at every turn.

For a touch of romance, consider a sunset cruise and watch as the Kimberley skies transform into a breathtaking canvas of vibrant colours. (Fellas, it’s a great time to propose!)

8. Visit the Kununurra Historical Society Museum

A journey to Kununurra wouldn’t be complete without exploring its rich history, and the Kununurra Historical Society Museum offers an intriguing portal to the past.

Here, a captivating collection of artefacts, photographs, and memorabilia vividly depicts Kununurra’s transformation from a remote outpost into a thriving community. Explore the cultural exhibits to gain deeper insights into the Indigenous heritage that has shaped this region for millennia. The museum’s interactive displays engage visitors of all ages, making it a captivating destination for history buffs, families, and anyone eager to understand the roots of this Kimberley gem.

Overall, it’s a place where history comes alive, offering a glimpse into the resilient spirit of the pioneers and Indigenous cultures that have left an indelible mark on Kununurra’s story.